In the Rs. 30,000 price segment, smartphone manufacturers need to cater to two types of customers, those who are upgrading from a budget smartphone, and those who simply crave more premium features but don't necessarily want to spend too much. Mid-range smartphones end up being a solid mix of performance, premium design and added features that have trickled down from the high-end segment. In 2023, we get to see some interesting new models. There's the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G, which offers a 200-megapixel primary camera, an IP53 rating and 120W wired charging.
Another new entrant in this segment is the Nothing Phone 1. It recently received a big price cut, making it a very accessible device which offers quite a few premium features such as a unique design, wireless charging and an IP53 rating.
Here are Gadgets 360's picks of the top phones under Rs. 30,000 in India, in no particular order.
|Phones under Rs. 30,000||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G||9||Rs. 29,999|
|Nothing Phone 1||8||Rs. 25,999|
|Oppo Reno 8 5G||8||Rs. 29,999|
|Poco F4 5G||8||Rs. 27,999|
|Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge||8||Rs. 26,999|
|Realme GT Master Edition||8||Rs. 25,999|
|OnePlus Nord 2T 5G||8||Rs. 28,999|
|iQoo Neo 6 5G||8||Rs. 29,999|
The Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is the top-end device in Xiaomi's Note lineup this year. Priced from Rs. 29,999, it is also the most expensive Redmi Note device till date. Thankfully it comes with good enough hardware and performance to justify that higher-than-usual price tag. It's IP53-rated for dust and water resistance, and you get a quality, adaptive 120Hz AMOLED panel with support for Dolby Vision and HDR 10 streaming content. While the phone feels high-end, it also packs enough power thanks to a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC.
Battery life with its 4,980mAh battery is quite good and charging the phone with the 120W charger takes just 25 minutes (with BoostCharge). Another highlight of the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G is its 200-megapixel primary camera, which lacks optical image stabilisation (OIS), but delivers quality still images in all types of lighting conditions. Software-wise, buyers will be stuck with MIUI and Android 12 out of the box. But an Android 13 update is in the works.
The Nothing Phone 1 may seem more about style at first but it offers balanced performance and great features to warrant its asking price. That price has now been lowered to Rs. 25,999, which is impressive given that it offers features such as wireless charging and an IP53 rating. Those upgrading from a budget smartphone will be more than happy with this, without needing to pay a premium for the added features. The Nothing Phone 1's design really stands out with its unique LED lights that are mounted under the transparent rear panel and can be controlled and customised using the phone's software.
Flashy lights and premium design aside, there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC at the helm which offers enough power for day to day tasks and some mid-level gaming. There are dual speakers and a large display which also makes it good for entertainment. Camera performance, while good in daylight, is not as impressive in low light. Battery life is a bit problematic but typically lasts a full day with casual usage.
Those looking purely for a stylish smartphone will find Oppo's Reno 8 5G in the Shimmer Gold variant interesting. With hardware that's nearly similar to the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, it's priced a bit higher but offers good camera performance in all types of lighting conditions. There's a 90Hz AMOLED panel which seems a bit low when compared to the competition but should be sufficient for the non-gaming audience.
At the helm is a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC which is good for some mid-level gaming and more than sufficient for regular multi-tasking. While the software is loaded to the brim with third-party apps, these can be uninstalled, and we did not face any problems in terms of overall performance either. While the Reno 8 5G is quite slim and light, Oppo managed to make enough space for a 4,500mAh battery that can charge it pretty fast with the bundled 80W charger.
The Poco F4 5G is a premium-looking smartphone that's also good for gaming. It's not very thick at 7.7mm and looks premium thanks to its frosted rear glass and frame. The phone also has an IP53 rating. There are stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and the phone's 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED panel also supports Dolby Vision HDR playback in streaming apps. There's enough gaming horsepower available thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC. This makes it more than capable of handling graphics intensive games at high settings.
Poco offers a 64-megapixel camera with OIS which makes for a quality daylight shooting experience. However, low-light performance does end up falling a bit short of expectations. Battery life with the 4,500mAh battery is quite solid and charging is also pretty quick.
If you are on the lookout for a smartphone with really fast charging, the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G will not disappoint. Given that the recently launched Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G also offers 120W charging, the 11i HyperCharge 5G still makes a bit of sense for the price conscious buyer. Despite being more than a year old, it still packs a punch with its MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC, which is good for gaming and regular tasks. Unlike the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G, there is also expandable storage in the hybrid dual-SIM tray.
Camera performance isn't the best in class, but the 108-megapixel primary camera is capable of good daylight image quality. Low-light performance is not bad either. The phone offers a slightly smaller 4,500mAh battery compared to the newer Note 12 Pro+ 5G, but it can charge from zero to a 100 percent in just 20 minutes.
Just like the Nothing Phone 1, the Realme GT Master Edition is also a smartphone that's mainly focussed on design and mid-range performance. The base model is available at Rs. 25,999, but the one to go for is the Voyager Grey variant, which comes with more RAM and has a unique faux-leather finish that feels like a travel suitcase.
While the design is subjective, the phone surely feels unique in this finish, and there's enough performance available from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC, both for daily tasks and a bit of gaming. There's a 120Hz AMOLED display and camera performance is quite good in daylight but average in low light. The phone's 4,500mAh battery which delivers good battery life can be charged quickly using the bundled 65W charger.
The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is a proper mid-range smartphone from OnePlus. It checks all the boxes when it comes to features one would expect from a mid-range device and combines it with a premium design. Just like other OnePlus smartphones, the software experience is quite good as it offers a fluid experience with minimal bloatware. The MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC ensures good software performance and can also handle games quite well.
Camera performance is also quite good. The phone features a camera setup that is similar to the Oppo Reno 8 5G and delivers equally good performance whether its daylight or low light.The Nord 2T 5G's 4,500mAh offers excellent two-day battery life with casual usage and can also charge up quickly with the bundled 65W charger. The phone has recently received the Android 13 update as well.
If you are looking for incredible value and don't mind a slightly chunky design, then the iQoo Neo 6 5G could be the perfect fit. The phone may not appear as premium as the other smartphones in this price bracket, but what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in terms of sheer power. The phone comes with a 120Hz E4 AMOLED panel which also offers a touch sampling rate of 360Hz that's good for gamers. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC is paired with 8GB of RAM (base variant) and this makes it a capable smartphone for playing high-end 3D games.
The smartphone also offers a capable primary 64-megapixel camera with OIS. There's good battery life and fast charging too.